Navigators need 300K

Navigators Student Association Groningen (NSG) is going through some tough times. In order to avoid having to move out, the association has to pay back approximately 300,000 euros in loans in the summer of 2017. The NSG hopes to raise that money during the ‘building weeks’ that will last until 16 December.
By Tim Bakker / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The NSG is happy with their building at the Hardewikerstraat. The Navigators purchased the former gay bar four years ago and the members have converted it into a nice headquarters for their group.

Because the bank would not loan them the full purchase amount – approximately 900,000 euros – the Christian society had to come up with 300,000 themselves. They managed this by issuing securities worth a thousand euros each for a period of five, ten, or fifteen years.

Now that the first five years have passed the time has come for them to pay out, says NSG external assessor Daniël Peereboom. ‘At the time we mainly sold these securities to the parents and family of current and former members. Now that we have a lot of new members, we’ll be trying that with them as well. So far it’s worked out.’

Great investment

He explains that people from outside the association can also buy the securities. ‘It’s a great investment. You get 1.5 per cent interest annually for five years. That’s more than a savings account at the bank.’

Ultimately, the debt has to be paid back once and for all, and the association is working on getting the funds to realise this. To raise extra funds, they are organising a number of activities over the coming weeks.

They also had an auction that Peereboom was rather interested in. ‘The guys at the board and I promised that we would shave our heads if we raised more than 3,500 euros.’

They raised that amount, and more. ‘I’ve still got my hair now, but it’ll be gone Tuesday night.’ He is not particularly bothered. ‘We’ll just get hats with our board name on them. And hey, we had decided beforehand: We’d rather be bald and in the news than lose our house.’



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